Walled Lake – — With dreams of a conference and state championship in 2015, Detroit East English Village took a big first step forward against a playoff team from 2014, drubbing Walled Lake Central 56-20 in the season opener.
The fireworks started early, as Nate Boleware ran four times for 60 yards on East English’s first drive, finishing it off with an 8-yard touchdown.
Delvin Washington, a transfer from Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy making his debut at quarterback for East English, took advantage of his few opportunities in the air. The junior had 210 yards and two touchdowns on just 3-for-5 passing.
“I thought his performance today was good,” East English coach Roderick Oden said of his new quarterback. “He’s taking a step up in competition this year, and I think he’s up to the challenge.”
Washington hooked up with Cedrick Lattimore, his tight end, who is an Iowa commit as a defensive end, on his first pass attempt of the night. It was a play-action pass that found Lattimore wide open in the middle of the field for a 45-yard score to stretch the early East English lead to 14-0.
In what was probably the play that put the game away, Washington found James Ceasar for an 85-yard touchdown with just seven seconds left to play in the first half that put East English up 28-7 heading into the locker rooms. Ceasar got behind two defensive backs that went to make a play on the ball, and while it looked as if one of the DBs would come up with an interception, it was Ceasar who came out running with nothing but green grass in front of him.
As the second half got underway, Boleware popped his head up again, this time scoring from 45 yards out to push the East English lead to 35-7. The diminutive (5-foot-4) senior running back finished with eight carries for 113 yards and two scores.
“He’s what we call our momentum-changer,” Oden said. “He’s got to touch the ball 10 to 12 times a game.”
Central scored on fourth down on a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Ethan Rodriguez to pull it to within 35-13 late in the third quarter, but the playmakers on East English just wouldn’t quit.
East English wide receiver Lindrell Mitchell answered the Central touchdown with a 62-yard kickoff return for a score, as the senior had himself a night. Mitchell caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Washington in the second quarter, and he added to his total with a 13-yard touchdown on a reverse that put East English up 48-13 in the beginning stages of the fourth quarter.
“We feel like we’re getting overlooked,” Oden said. “Tonight was a statement.”
Central would add a late touchdown on a 16-yard scamper from Jakob Amcheslavs, but it was too little, too late.
Rodriguez was Mr. Everything for Central, but he went down late in the third quarter with a leg injury. He would return to hand the ball off on the fourth quarter scoring drive, but he didn’t run the ball again, finishing with 14 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Geoff Robinson is a free-lance writer